Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Hooray for Hollywood!

The famous Hollywood sign. Yes, it's tiny. I could do some cropping and make it more impressive, but I think you'll be more impressed by my dogged tenacity to get.a.pic.of.that.damn.sign.if.it.kills.me - keep scrolling to see just a couple of the outtakes.

California #1

Our deadhead to the shipper, when we finally left California, took us west toward the Pacific, to the North of Los Angeles, Santa Monica, and Malibu to Oxnard. I grabbed my camera phone and snapped a few quick and dirty (literally dirty; witness all the out-of-focus dead bugs on the windshield) touristy pics:

NBC Universal Studios campus:

More Universal Studios:

Capitol Records building (very famous landmark, but you may be too young):

Descending Into Pleasant Valley (Oxnard)

During a short 10 minute ride through this valley, I saw broccoli, cabbage, celery, strawberries, cilantro, and a crapload of crops I can't remember.


Cilantro being bunched and cut in the field:

More cilantro (or possibly parsley in this field):

And the Flaming O Motel. Steve snorted coffee through his nose and insisted I take a pic.

A Few More Landmarks on Our Way Out of Town

ABC Studios near Burbank, California:

Two other places near Burbank (Glendale) that stood out at the time, but I can't recall now:

Hey, you get what you pay for. :)

Friday, January 25, 2013

Exercising the Photoshop Muscle

Here's a touched up version of the lonely trucker pic ... although I love my Hossman's head, I think the pic is improved without it:

And the Before pic again, for easy reference:

Not too bad.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

In the Shadows of the San Gabriel Mountains

A quick snapshot of the mountains above the Ontario Mills Mall that we visited earlier this week. The foothills are only about 3 miles North of the mall. Our LA area truckstop, our home all this week, is only a mile South of this pic.

The same mountains, taken just after dinner this evening, from the truckstop parking lot. Notice the thick band of clouds about halfway down the hillside, and the hilltops are cloud covered, too. The round structure in the right side of the pic is one of two watertanks that supply the area.

I'm too tired to crop this pic and clean it up, but I thought the lone trucker in the corner of the restaurant was moving. I also like the bright lights against the windows and the trees showing through.

Ok, I'm not very articulate tonight, either.

The T-shirt says "I'm not Santa, but you can sit on my lap anyway".

Never happenin', longhaired stained beard man. Never happenin'.

His companion was a younger, darker version, wearing a filthy flannel overshirt. Ewww.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Ontario Mills

After running non-stop for ten days, we were ready for a break. When we woke up this morning, we were number 9 of 11 on a 6-a-day board. Yay! We can goof off today without worrying too much about being dispatched.

So while picking at our breakfasts, we discussed how to spend our free day. At first we thought we'd rent a car and go explore, but Hoss mentioned the outlet mall about a mile north of the truckstop. Well, why not?

So we freshened up, put on our sneakers, and hoofed it to the Ontario Mills mall:

Doesn't that look EXACTLY like you'd expect an LA mall to look?

It was pretty slow when we first arrived, so we had a chance to explore without being rushed by a crowd. Nordstrom's? Saks, Coach, Movado? Nope, not my style, any of it. But! There's an awesome shop there that I absolutely fell in love with! Named the Pin-Up Bootique, it specializes in clothing like this: http://www.pinupgirlclothing.com/vintage-style-inspired-clothing/retrodresses.html . How awesome is that!? Can't you just see me pumping diesel at 4 a.m. in one of those vampy dresses? *sigh*

We decided to take in a movie - "Django Unchained", as a matter of fact. I adore Tarantino's stuff, and this one didn't disappoint. I'm still grinning. LOVED IT!

After the movie, we wandered through the rest of the mall, then stopped to get much-needed haircuts. Then we hit the food court:

I ordered a Burrito Bowl, which is exactly like it sounds. Hoss couldn't resist a regular ol' burrito. Chipotle rawks.

We're up to number 5, so odds are that we'll be out of here tomorrow. Like Texas, leaving California means good miles, and we likes dem miles!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Lotsa Miles!

This dispatch arrived this afternoon, a couple of hours after we dropped west of Philly. Despite being more than ready for a down day (we've had only two days without a load since Jan 2nd), we'll happily take 2754 miles!

Monday, January 14, 2013

What About Frazier? And Foreman?

Last night, as we left the restaurant, the common areas of the truckstop were crowded with people, mostly men, hanging out in groups, talking, watching the news, playing quarter-per-play video games, shooting pool, and so forth. We passed by a threesome of black men, the two elder men were seated; the younger man in his twenties standing and waving his arms about animatedly. "It was the fight of the century!" he exclaimed. "Muhammed Ali and Sonny Liston? The fight of the CENTURY!!"

For a fraction of second, I considered stopping and correcting him. But as we were in a teeny tiny minority of white people in the area, and I the only female, I decided better of it. I did, however, allow myself a slight shake of the head and an unmistakable smirk.

There were, you see, two Liston-Ali fights - rather, there was one Liston-Clay fight, and one Liston-Ali fight, but to avoid confusion, everyone refers to them as the Liston-Ali fights. Entering the first, Liston was the heavyweight champ with a fierce reputation and the clear favorite to win; Ali was many years younger and far less experienced, but still an Olympic gold medalist with an undefeated record in the pros. The public expected Ali to either get pummeled to unconsciousness early on or back out of the fight altogether. 

Instead, Ali won by TKO when Liston failed to leave his corner at the 7th round bell. The official story was that he'd torn a shoulder tendon. His corner men later revealed that Liston was woefully out of shape and simply wanted to quit, but with a future rematch virtually guaranteed, they had to come up an injury on the fly. Torn tendon, it was then.

A rematch occurred the next year (by then, Cassius Clay had taken the name Muhammed Ali). Although the vast majority of the public wanted Liston to achieve revenge, he took a rather awkward and obvious dive, in the first minute of the first round, no less.

Soooo, which of these, exactly, was the fight of the century?

Friday, January 11, 2013

Leaving Long Island

We took a load from Brentwood, which is about halfway out the island, to Kissimmee, Florida. Nice miles! I took a few quick snapshots on our way out. L to R: Lower Manhattan, some steampunky looking place in Brooklyn, and the Verrazanos bridge from Brooklyn to Staten Island.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Skylark Diner, Edison, New Jersey

Wow. These folks have the upscale diner thing down pat. Beautiful space, fabulous food, terrific wait staff. Two big Florentine omelettes with crispy fried taters, toast, coffee and tea for $18. Huh? Best of all, the toast was served with a variety of fresh butter, orange zest, and a dollop of raspberry cream . Yum.